The saddest part about this entire story is a mix between how sudden this all happened and the fact that it's really nobody's fault. And when there's nowhere to place blame, it usually is forced onto yourself. And hopefully this poor Cumberland woman doesn't blame herself for what happened to her two adorable dogs.

But I also know that if I were in her position, I 100% would.

Maine dog parks

There's a solid chance that Maine is the most dog-friendly state in the country. Sashay around Portland at all and not only are a good chunk of restaurants and bars dog-friendly, but there are also bowls of water placed outside of many businesses in case pups passing by need a quick drink on a hot day. On top of dog-friendly businesses, there are also numerous parks scattered throughout the state so doggos can make friends and burn some energy with each other.

One of the more popular parks in Cumberland happens to be Twin Brook Recreational Facility. And that's unfortunately where our story begins.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Blue-green algae in Cumberland

According to WGME, a Cumberland woman brought her two adorable pups, Stella and Luna, to Twin Brook Recreational Facility just over a week ago. Just like it was any other day. But fast forward to the very next night and both Stella and Luna were acting very, very off. Unfortunately, their behavior declined (including a seizure for poor Luna), both pups had to heartbreakingly be put euthanized to end their suffering.

Followup testing by the vet revealed that both pups had been exposed to blue-green algae at the park, brought on by constant warm, sunny conditions and highly toxic to dogs. An unexpected and heartbreaking tragedy.

And to her credit, the woman, whose name is Elayna Girardin, wanted to spread the word through WGME to prevent this from happening to anyone else. Because how does a pet owner even bounce back from that?


It's been said time and time again by pet owners (including yours truly) that our pets are our kids. Hell, how many times are they referenced as furbabies? I have no idea what I'd do if I were in Elayna's position. Spread the word, yes -- but in between absolutely falling apart.

I write this as my dog Remy is scrunched up right next to me on the living room couch with his head on my knee doing what he does best (well, when he's not being an absolute psycho pup in the best of ways) -- sleeping. If my knee was weightless right now and the left side of my body wasn't slightly sweating from having this 50+ furball pressed up against me on another humid Maine day? I don't even want to know. I don't even want to breathe that into existence.

My heart truly goes out to Elayna on such a sudden and crushing loss. TIMES TWO. Both of her pups, horribly gone in an instant. Having to watch them suffer on their way across the rainbow bridge, on top of that. It's nothing anyone wants to see for any of our loved ones -- human or animal.

To help prevent this from happening to you, information on what exactly blue-green algae is and how to identify it has been provided by the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College.

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